Locksmith Tips for Renters to Remain Safe
If you rent an apartment, you are not capable of adding the same security measures that a homeowner can install, such as, cameras and alarm systems. This means you are limited to what you can do to protect yourself. If you have to move into an apartment from a home, you may be wondering how you can remain safe living in an apartment? A lot of remaining safe inside an apartment building requires that you use a little common sense. You may be surprised to hear just how many people fail to lock their door behind them. Maybe they are running to get something out of the car or to the mailbox. Perhaps they are in a hurry or they just forgot. Whatever the reason leaving a door unlocked for any length of time is an invitation to thieves.
Here are some really practical suggestions for remaining safe living in an apartment.
Change Apartment Door Locks
Management is supposed to have the locks changed after every tenant departs the premises. If you are unsure as to whether or not this has happened, take the route of using caution. Ask management if you can install your own door lock. In many cases, they do not mind as long as they have access to your apartment when necessary. This means you’ll have to provide management with a key to your apartment. If they ever need to access your apartment, for any reason, they will typically notify you first. This happens there is a maintenance issue that they are evaluating.
It is also important in case of an emergency and they need to check on you. Even though there is no federal law that says an apartment complex has to rekey locks after each tenant, there are city ordinances and state laws that require landlords to change locks after every tenant moves out. If you ask that the locks to your new apartment be changed again, once you have moved it, it will usually be at your own expense. You can always find a qualified and trustworthy Elgin, IL locksmith, such as, Ames Locksmith Service to handle this for you.
Inquire About Security Prior to Signing a Lease
If you are a single person living alone, this is going to be a serious matter to consider. Before you move into an apartment find out if they have pre-installed alarm systems in each unit. Many of the apartments today offer the alarm system but you are responsible for paying for the monitoring. If there is not a system already in your apartment, you can always inquire as to whether or not one can be installed. You may also inquire about the level of security to gain access into the building. Is an access code required, is there 24-hour security in the building, and are security guards on the property? Ask if there are cameras in the building to see who is coming in and out. All of these are good questions to ask before you decide to sign on the doted line. The level of security that an apartment has can mean the difference in accepting the apartment or not.
Look at Police Reports
Apartments need tenants. Since they need to keep the apartments occupied, not every leasing agent is going to provide you with factual information. When you want to know if there are reports of break-ins or other criminal incidents in the apartment you are considering, the best way to find out is to visit the local police department. They generally have a record of incidents in a particular building since people are required to file a police report when anything happens. A police report is also necessary for insurance purposes. This is the absolute best way to find out what you need to know before taking occupancy of a unit.
Ask Other Tenants
Another great place to find out if the building you are considering moving into is safe or not is to ask other tenants of the building. They are usually forthcoming because they have nothing to lose by sharing this information with you. You don’t have to go around knocking on doors, you can ask the people that you see whenever you go to tour an apartment. You can ask them specifically if they feel safe, are there any unusual things happening in the building that may be illegal, how management responds to suspicious activity, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. No one would blame you if you did.
If you have already moved into an apartment, be sure to alert management to any suspicious activity you see. Even if you are not sure that it is anything illegal, it could be. You don’t want to take chances with your safety. If you along with another tenant reports suspicious activity to management and nothing is being done, file a report so that something is in writing in case anything does happen.
Switch Up Your Routine
If you have the same routine, why not switch it up every now and then. Go out to dinner after work, go to the gym before work, meet up with friends for a drink, work overtime or just go to the park. Sometimes people will watch you closely if you have a routine. If they detect that you have a routine, they will look for the opportunity to break-into your apartment. All they need is time and opportunity. If they are familiar with the times that you are coming and going, you are giving them both time and opportunity.
There is a saying that common sense isn’t that common. We would like to think that this isn’t true when referring to your safety. If it is dark in the parking deck, park closer to the light or call for security to come and escort you to your apartment. Always walk in well-lit areas of your building. Don’t walk alone at night and keep your keys in a secure place.